Life at the end of the road

September 19, 2019

Preparing for the heating season :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:24 am

Up at 5:00 this morning brimming with excitement cos the wee dug and I is going on a Jolly, not that Molly seems to keen at the moment.

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OK, the picture on the left was taken a couple of days ago but not much has changed, Molly ‘is not a morning person’. Having said that as soon as I open the fridge or gun cabinet she bounces into action like a ‘coiled spring’ just not yet Smile

Anyway, that’s me started me ‘fortnight off’ with a long ‘to do’ list which I managed to ‘make a dent’ in yesterday after a rather ‘shaky start’. I’d been asked by one who knows I’m a ripe target for saving rubbish if I’d like some old sheets of corrugated iron. In true Camilli style I’d agreed to take them off his hands rather than see them go in the skip. Old rusty tin sheets may not be very appealing to most people but they are generally only rusty on one side and at the ends. Turning the round and taking foot off each end with an angle grinder usually leaves you with first class roofing material for yet another shed or pig shelter. The thing is, they are rather heavy and there was a lot of them. Methinks my mate is a little like me in the ‘collecting 5h1te’ department Smile Only he had had his ‘marching orders’ and been told to move them from The Steading,

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which we now call ‘The Alamo’ Smile 

Of course he loaded em onto my trailer with a telehandler so I didn’t know how heavy they were, though I suspected very!!

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Well, I soon found out just how heavy when I tried to tow them up to the hen shed, the WiFE lost traction Sad smile Before I knew what was happening I was going backwards down hill into my lovely drystone wall and the sheets were sliding off. Lessons learned there, 1, Traction Control as fitted to ‘Discovery II’ is not a patch on a locking diff. 2, corrugated iron sheets are much heavier than they look and 3, you really DO need a digger Smile

That took me what was left of Tuesday afternoon to sort out and left me in no fit state for blogging Smile


The first full day of my two weeks off started with preparing for winter and the ‘heating season’. I never actually switch the heating off so that I can crank up the bathroom thermostat if I need to get rid of some heat in the summer. I do like a warm floor after having a shower Smile As the house is all renewable electricity the solar generation is falling away now and pretty soon I’ll be needing a boost from the hydro which has been turned off since April or May.

The 800W Powerspout is one of two hydro turbines that’ll supply a great deal of my power requirement throughout the winter. The other one is a Canadian machine called a Stream Engine and whilst this too produces most of it’s power during the wetter months it is in a location where it ‘self bleeds’. The Powerspout is over a mile from the house and requires a pump to get it going Sad smile

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So I donned my Chinese waders, loaded up the 2” Honda water pump and went off to get it going. The Chinese must have there feet on the wrong leg Smile I got em off eBay but couldn’t be bothered sending them back Smile

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It’s a bit of a trek to the turbine which is down near the shore at Tarbert and I was somewhat surprised to see so many people admiring the beautiful rock formations there. Don’t recall ever seeing so many cars there in thirty years!

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You can only get the quad down so far and then it’s on foot with a handful of tools to change one of the nozzles.

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The turbine has two 7.4mm jets and earlier this year I had experimented with various smaller ones to try and reduce the output throughout the summer. It wasn’t really a success, sure I did manage to reduce the generation but not proportionally so I abandoned that experiment. With almost 8kW of solar PV it was hardly required even on the dullest of days.

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Molly and I soon had it sorted then went back home to fix the Tank.


Next door’s Nissan Patrol was pishing out diesel and required a new fuel return pipe which I soon sorted. I calls it the ‘Tank’ cos this 3.0 diesel automatic is just that, armour plated, solid and reliable. I gotta say I was tempted to buy one myself but by gum it’s thirsty Sad smile That done I headed into Portree for pig feed then spent the evening cleaning and preparing my caravan for a wee jolly.

Well, that’s it, sure there’s more but it’s 7:15 now, time to fit a new clutch slave cylinder to WiFE and a few other jobs before I head off for a day or two.


  1. Why is it always the way that when you load them up it’s then that they decide to help demonstrate the laws of physics! I’ll never forget my first backwards ride with a twin axle car trailer/skidsteer combo in command. I closed my eyes and curled into a ball after I bounced off a gate post then the tree on the other side. The gaffer was a bit upset with me but showed a rare soft side when he realised I was shook up. Glad you’re ok fella. Might be worth seeing if yours is one of the ones you can easily convert back to centre diff selection.

    Love the dashing Chinese waders… had to laugh but did you check it’s not your own feet in question as we’re all getting on a bit and things do move around in unexpected ways after all.

    Keen to know more ’bout the hydro if you find the time chap.

    Comment by Matt — September 19, 2019 @ 10:54 am

    • Morning Matt, just do a search under the ‘Hydro’ headings, there’s hunners of posts of the epic laying of 900m of pipe and 800m of cable, AND that was just the Powerspout, I did a few more too 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2019 @ 5:59 am

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